Thursday, February 04, 2010

Even Greenpeace wants Pachauri to go

So they obviously think that the IPCC has damaged its case

The head of the UN’s climate change body is under pressure to resign after one of his strongest allies in the environmental movement said his judgment was flawed and called for a new leader to restore confidence in climatic science.

Rajendra Pachauri, chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), has insisted that he will remain in post for another four years despite having failed to act on a serious error in the body’s 2007 report.

John Sauven, director of Greenpeace UK , said that Dr Pachauri should have acted as soon as he had been informed of the error, even though issuing a correction would have embarrassed the IPCC on the eve of the Copenhagen climate summit.

A journalist working for Science had told Dr Pachauri several times late last year that glaciologists had refuted the IPCC claim that Himalayan glaciers would disappear by 2035. Dr Pachauri refused to address the problem, saying: “I don’t have anything to add on glaciers.” He suggested that the error would not be corrected until 2013 or 2014, when the IPCC next reported.

The IPCC issued a correction and apology on January 20, three days after the error had made global headlines. Mr Sauven said: “Mistakes will always be made but it’s how you handle those mistakes which affects the credibility of the institution. Pachauri should have put his hand up and said ‘we made a mistake’. It’s in these situations that your character and judgment is tested. Do you make the right judgment call? He clearly didn’t.”

The IPCC needed a new chairman who would hold public confidence by introducing more rigorous procedures, Mr Sauven said. “The IPCC needs to regain credibility. Is that going to happen with Pachauri [as chairman]? I don’t think so. We need someone held in high regard who has extremely good judgment and is seen by the global public as someone on their side.

“If we get a new person in with an open mind, prepared to fundamentally review how the IPCC works, we would regain confidence in the organisation.”

Dr Pachauri did not return calls yesterday but he told Indian television at the weekend that he believed attacks on him were being orchestrated by companies facing lower profits because of actions against climate change recommended by the IPCC.He added: “My credibility has been established because I was re-elected chairman in 2008 by all the countries of the world. They must have been satisfied with what I did in terms of the fourth assessment report [published in 2007] because they have given me the mandate of completing the fifth assessment report [[to be released over 2013 and 2014] which I intend doing.”

Bob Ward, of the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change, said the countries that had appointed Dr Pachauri should consider his handling of the glacier issue when the IPCC plenary meeting is held in October. “That issue ought to be dealt with by them. It would depend on how he responds to the crisis facing the IPCC.

“He has made mistakes but I don’t think those mistakes are so serious that you would automatically get rid of him. If you changed the head, I don’t think that would necessarily restore the credibility of the IPCC.”


Green math is bad math

On the front page of the New York Times' online edition Sunday was an artist's rendering of the pride and joy of the federal General Services Administration: a renovated federal building in Portland, Ore., that features plants growing up all 18 stories of one side. "They will bloom in the spring and summer when you want the shade, and then they will go away in the winter when you want to let the light in," Bob Peck, commissioner of public buildings for the G.S.A., told the Times, adding, "Don't ask me how you get them irrigated."

Don't ask how much they cost, either. I told you not to ask. OK, I'll tell you: The entire renovation costs $133 million. The plants are only one component, but the G.S.A. admits that the renovation is being undertaken for the purpose of making the building "green." Done as a project of the Office of Federal High-Performance Green Buildings, the renovation is Oregon's largest federal stimulus project.

The Obama administration proudly boasts that the effort will dramatically reduce the building's energy use, thereby saving federal taxpayers $280,000 a year in energy costs.

Now here comes the fun part. Nowhere in the article did The New York Times bother to do the math. So I did. (It wasn't hard, I did it on my Blackberry while setting out for a winter hike.) To recoup its investment in this renovation, the government will have to keep the building running for the next 475 years. Look on the bright side. Everything after year 476 is gravy!

As Joe Vaughan, a Portland commercial real estate developer, told The Times, "As a taxpayer, I think it's a horrible waste of money that no private developer would undertake."

The G.S.A response? "The idea is that the cost savings are in the energy efficiency," Caren Auchman, a spokeswoman for the G.S.A., uselessly told the Times, which did not question the validity, or sanity, of that statement.

To provide a little perspective, the taxpayers are going to shell out $133 million -- more than half the cost of the nearby Rose Garden Arena, where the Portland Trailblazers play -- so the government can annually save the taxpayers $68,000 less than the combined yearly salaries of Oregon's two U.S. senators.

This is what passes for a good "green" investment in Washington these days. This is only one tiny example of the type of cost-benefit analysis being promoted in Washington in the name of saving the planet.

More here

The Scientific Collapse of Man-made Global Warming

By Michael R. Fox, Ph.D., a nuclear scientist

The underlying science of man-made global warming has always been quite thin and tenuous, with little hard measurable evidence to support the hypothesis. In fact many temperature stations have shown either no warming or actual cooling over the past 80 years or more.

Similarly exaggerations by many UN nations of sea level changes have flourished and in turn blamed the United States for imagined damages. These are alleged by many nations, even when actual sea level measurements show little changes from the estimated 8 inches per century which has gone on for millennia (

Even though the man-made global warming theory is now collapsing scientifically, it is utterly amazing to realize that many of the most powerful leaders and governments in the world had bought into fiction. Now named Climategate, this was aided and abetted by most (but not all) of the media, the greens, Hollywood, even the educational system.

Skeptics have been pointing to the dearth of such evidence which, if it had been widely understood, would have ended the exaggerations. Actual measured scientific evidence often does that.

The UN and its many sub-organizations have led the charge in promoting the scare around the world, with most of their members subscribing to it. The billions that have been spent for global warming research also suggests that these billions actually helped promote the failed science involved.

After all, the goal of the UN’s International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was not a better understanding of the climate. It was intended only to find any man-made influences on the climate. International politics ruled the effort, not the pursuit of science. It was no coincidence that only the wealthy nations, especially the capitalist US, were found to be the villains.

Near the end of November 2009 a huge global warming eruption occurred when thousand emails, documents, and computer codes were release from the files of one of he world’s major institutes in global warming. This was the Climate Research Unit of the University of East Anglia (CRU).

These findings were stunning to anyone familiar with the rules of science and the scientific method. Climate data manipulation, massaging, modification, and even omissions were common as indicated from the texts of the emails exchanged among world experts. Even worse, much of the original temperature data has now been lost. This means that that no replication of these studies starting with original data in the IPCC Assessment Reports is now possible. Such replications always begin with the raw data which are no longer available. To attempt replication with contaminated and corrupted data is simply not possible.

It’s been 60 days since the release of this information, with little it being reported in the US media. See link ( However, a lot of information about the man-made global warming collapse is being reported in the foreign media.

The head of the CRU has taken a leave of absence and now may be facing charges of fraud by the British government ( More members of the CRU team as well as American instigators may be charged since so many were involved.

Others are writing excellent analyses of the released CRU findings, given the short time for such important efforts. One of them is a 149 page analysis is called “Climategate Analysis” by John P. Costella ( Costella is both a mathematical and statistical expert. He writes about the impact of Climategate fraud on the exacting and rigorous nature of honest science (p.5):

“Climategate has shattered that myth (of scientific rigor). It gives us a peephole into the work of the scientists investigating possibly the most important issue ever to face mankind. Instead of seeing large collaborations of meticulous, careful, critical scientists, we instead see a small team of incompetent cowboys, abusing almost every aspect of the framework of science to build a fortress around their “old boys’ club”, to prevent real scientists from seeing the shambles of their “research”. Most people are aghast that this could have happened; and it is only because “climate science” exploded from a relatively tiny corner of academia into a hugely funded industry in a matter of mere years that the perpetrators were able to get away with it for so long.”

Another excellent analysis of Climategate has been performed by Joseph D’Aleo and Anthony Watts. It is titled “Surface Temperature Records: Policy Driven Deception?” and is 111 pages of detailed analyses ( These two analyses (and there are others) literally destroy nearly all of the scientific nature of the IPCC reports and pronouncements. They show that man-made CO2 still has little or nothing to do with climate, and most importantly has a great deal to do with international politics of the UN and allies.

D’Aleo and Watts provide 15 amazing summary points for policy makers describing the scientific malpractice among the UN, the IPCC and the rest of the global warming movement:

* 1. Instrumental temperature data for the pre-satellite era (1850-1980) have been so widely, systematically, and unidirectionally tampered with that it cannot be credibly asserted there has been any significant “global warming” in the 20th century. MF---Such tampering with data is utterly unprofessional.

* 2. All terrestrial surface-temperature databases exhibit very serious problems that render them useless for determining accurate long-term temperature trends. MF---Little mention has ever been made regarding the actual quality of temperature data and the need for control of high quality data.

* 3. All of the problems have skewed the data so as greatly to overstate observed warming both regionally and globally. MF---It now seems clear that the global warming movement was hell-bent in producing a man-made global warming scare by a variety of data manipulations.

* 4. Global terrestrial temperature data are gravely compromised because more than three-quarters of the 6,000 stations that once existed are no longer reporting. MF--- This is stunning. Try to imagine adult scientists trying to show climate warming by excluding temperature data from thousands of the world’s coldest stations. Amazing and dreadfully unethical.

* 5. There has been a severe bias towards removing higher-altitude, higher-latitude, and rural stations, leading to a further serious overstatement of warming.

* 6. Contamination by urbanization, changes in land use, improper siting, and inadequately-calibrated instrument upgrades further overstates warming.

* 7. Numerous peer-reviewed papers in recent years have shown the overstatement of observed longer term warming is 30-50% from heat-island contamination alone.

* 8. Cherry-picking of observing sites combined with interpolation to vacant data grids may make heat-island bias greater than 50% of 20th-century warming.

* 9. In the oceans, data are missing and uncertainties are substantial. Comprehensive coverage has only been available since 2003, and shows no warming.

* 10. Satellite temperature monitoring has provided an alternative to terrestrial stations in compiling the global lower-troposphere temperature record. Their findings are increasingly diverging from the station-based constructions in a manner consistent with evidence of a warm bias in the surface temperature record.

* 11. NOAA and NASA, along with CRU, were the driving forces behind the systematic hyping of 20th-century “global warming”. MF---This is important to understanding that these United States climate agencies were also very much involved with the climate deceptions.

* 12. Changes have been made to alter the historical record to mask cyclical changes that could be readily explained by natural factors like multidecadal ocean and solar changes.

* 13. Global terrestrial data bases are seriously flawed and can no longer be trusted to assess climate trends or VALIDATE model forecasts.

* 14. An inclusive external assessment is essential of the surface temperature record of CRU, GISS and NCDC “chaired and paneled by mutually agreed to climate scientists who do not have a vested interest in the outcome of the evaluations.”

* 15. Reliance on the global data by both the UNIPCC and the US GCRP/CCSP also requires a full investigation and audit.

The main stream media of the US have scarcely reported any of these skullduggeries, which means that the American public is essentially uninformed. We also learned during President Obama’s recent speech that even he has not been informed about the man-made global warming collapse.

This does not speak well of the wisdom of the president and especially of his vaunted science advisors. Obama’s NOAA Administrator Jane Lubchenco, for example, is still under the belief that the IPCC is "the gold standard for authoritative scientific information on climate change because of the rigorous way in which they are prepared, reviewed, and approved." Unfortunately for some, the "gold standard" is at the heart of Climategate. (


A falling out among proxies

To estimate temperature and CO2 in the geological past "proxies" (e.g. Tree rings, ice cores) have to be used. And how good they are as proxies is far from agreed. But what if the proxies disagree in what they tell us? That is pretty nasty for the proxy users. In the article below is one look at such a disagreement in estimating CO2 levels
Atmospheric carbon dioxide levels for the last 500 million years

By Daniel H. Rothman


The last 500 million years of the strontium-isotope record are shown to correlate significantly with the concurrent record of isotopic fractionation between inorganic and organic carbon after the effects of recycled sediment are removed from the strontium signal. The correlation is shown to result from the common dependence of both signals on weathering and magmatic processes. Because the long-term evolution of carbon dioxide levels depends similarly on weathering and magmatism, the relative fluctuations of CO2 levels are inferred from the shared fluctuations of the isotopic records. The resulting CO2 signal exhibits no systematic correspondence with the geologic record of climatic variations at tectonic time scales.

The long-term carbon cycle is controlled by chemical weathering, volcanic and metamorphic degassing, and the burial of organic carbon (1, 2). Ancient atmospheric carbon dioxide levels are reflected in the isotopic content of organic carbon (3) and, less directly, strontium (4) in marine sedimentary rocks; the former because photosynthetic carbon isotope fractionation is sensitive to CO2 levels, and the latter because weathering and degassing are associated with extreme values of the abundance ratio 87Sr/86Sr. However, attempts to use these geochemical signals to estimate past CO2 levels (5–8) are hindered by the signals' additional relationships to various tectonic (9, 10) and biological (11) effects. Moreover, the strontium signal has proven especially difficult to parse (12–15).

Here, I attempt to resolve these ambiguities in the isotopic signals of carbon and strontium. First, it is shown that the last 500 million years of the strontium signal, after transformation to remove the effects of recycled sediment (16, 17), correlate significantly with the concurrent record of isotopic fractionation between inorganic and organic carbon (3). This empirical result is supplemented by the theoretical deduction that the two records are linked by their common dependence on rates of continental weathering and magmatic activity. The assumption that CO2 levels fall with the former and rise with the latter then indicates that an appropriate average of the two records should reflect the long-term fluctuations of the partial pressure of atmospheric CO2. The CO2 signal derived from this analysis represents fluctuations at time scales greater than about 10 million years (My). Comparison with the geologic record of climatic variations (18) reveals no obvious correspondence.


Take-home message: Be wary of proxies -- JR

Are green power programs a scam?

A touch of skepticism below from the Leftist "Mother Jones" -- asking: Are you paying for renewable energy, or just a bunch of hot air?

THE TWISTING TURBINES on the Columbia River Gorge ridges were one of the first things my husband and I noticed en route from Baltimore to our new house in Oregon. So a few weeks later, when a hawker at the farmers market urged me-with a $5 token for free veggies and a postcard with pictures of children lounging in front of local windmills-to sign up for a renewable energy program called Blue Sky, I didn't hesitate. For less than an extra $10 a month, my utility, Pacific Power, would supply our home with electricity from wind turbines instead of coal.

But it turns out ditching dirty energy is more complicated than that hawker would have me believe. From the windmill postcard, you'd think my premium would go straight to local projects. Not quite: True, Pacific Power operates one wind farm in Oregon, but that's largely because the state mandates that utilities get 25 percent of their power from renewables by 2025. My well-meaning purchase has little to do with those windmills. Instead, Pacific Power hands my Blue Sky money over to companies that buy renewable energy certificates (RECs) from wind farms, mostly in other states, and other renewable projects like methane-burning landfills. Consumers need to understand that the electricity "is not going from the windmill on the ridge to your toaster," says Pacific Power spokesman Tom Gauntt. Michael Gillenwater, a Princeton researcher who codeveloped the EPA's carbon emissions tracking system, says it's more like donating to a cause. "What you are doing is subsidizing the market for renewable energy."

Pacific Power says our premium "avoided the release of 897 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions into the air...equivalent to not driving 909 miles." But it's hard to verify those numbers, says Stanford professor Michael Wara, who studies carbon markets. "You don't have an overseeing regulator ensuring that the claims made are backed up." Green-e, a third-party certification program, ensures that my RECs come from relatively new projects and aren't double-counted to meet state mandates. But Gillenwater says its "additionality" test isn't thorough enough to prove I paid for an emission reduction that wouldn't have happened anyway.

Experts say that RECs like mine can make renewable projects more profitable, but they play a much smaller role than government subsidies. (Disclosure: My father recently invested in a wood-chip-fueled electricity plant in Florida, and he said RECs sweetened that deal.) Gillenwater says most projects would have produced the energy regardless of whether consumers like me pitched in-in 2008, for example, Pacific Power bought a third of my RECs from two Puget Sound Energy wind farms built in 2005. (A spokesman says the projects' planners didn't count on revenue from residential RECs in their budget.) The remaining two-thirds were purchased from other projects, including a landfill-gas plant in Utah. Only 1 percent came from solar.

RECs, mandates, additionality-my head was spinning like those windmills, which were seeming further away. To make matters worse, in 2008, only 67 percent of my Blue Sky bucks purchased RECs; the remaining 33 percent was spent on staff and publicity. On average, 19 percent of green programs' revenues go to marketing, but at small utilities that percentage is far greater.

Utilities insist that the promotion is necessary, since voluntary green power programs work better when lots of people participate. Nationwide, only about a million customers shell out for green power-with corporations, governments, and universities buying the bulk of it. In 2008, residential customers made up only one-quarter of green power purchases.

So what's a consumer to do? Even with their problems, RECs are "one of the simplest and most direct ways to support renewable technologies," says Jeff Deyette, a senior analyst with the Union of Concerned Scientists. Premiums can provide that extra profit margin to make renewable projects competitive with fossil fuels. And some utilities are experimenting with other models. If I had enrolled in Pacific Power's Blue Sky Block program, for twice what I pay now, 41 percent of my money would have funded local solar arrays and a geothermal test project-and only 25 percent would have gone to overhead. Or instead, I could spend my premium on efficiency upgrades in my new home: sealing leaks, insulating, and replacing drafty windows. It would just take more time and elbow grease than checking a box.



For more postings from me, see DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here


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